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Ann Card Anaesth. 2019 Apr-Jun;22(2):169-176. doi: 10.4103/aca.ACA_63_18.

Perioperative anesthesia management for pulmonary endarterectomy: Adopting an established European Protocol for the Asian Population.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.



Anesthesia for pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA) has always been one of the challenges of anesthesia. As one of the leading cardiothoracic institutions in Southeast Asia, our hospital has vast interest in this subject. A local multidisciplinary team was deployed to an expert center in the United Kingdom (UK), and the experience was then integrated to the care of our patients. We present a case series of ten patients undergoing anesthesia for PEA, a first for our institution, and discuss techniques as well as potential complications.


Patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension were reviewed by a multidisciplinary team, and those who were suitable for surgical intervention subsequently underwent PEA. A total of ten patients were identified and operated on. The perioperative management and conduction of anesthesia for all patients followed a protocol adapted from the expert center in the UK, with revisions to cater to our Asian population.


In the ten patients operated on, eight of them were successfully extubated on the first postoperative day. Apart from one incident of prolonged ventilator usage due to reperfusion lung injury and pneumonia, there were no major respiratory or hemodynamic complications. Certainly, six of the ten patients developed subdural hemorrhage after the commencement of enoxaparin, although none of them sustained any permanent neurological deficits.


We have demonstrated that with careful planning and a well-outlined protocol, anesthesia for PEA in an Asian population can be achieved with favorable outcomes. Further fine-tuning of the protocol is still required based on local expertise.


Anesthesia; Asian population; chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension; pulmonary endarterectomy

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